Conroe Dram Shop Lawyers Hold Liquor Sellers Liable for Damages Caused by Customers
Aggressive representation for Texas clients injured by drunk drivers
Drunk drivers can be sued over the severe harm they cause to innocent motorists and pedestrians. However, those drivers often are not the only ones at fault. Bars, restaurants, stores and other liquor sellers may contribute to causing an accident if they provide alcohol to people who are visibly intoxicated to the point that they might do harm to themselves or others. Under the Texas dram shop law, those third parties are also responsible for any bodily injury or property damage that results from the customer driving a vehicle. At Hope & Causey, P.C. in Conroe, our personal injury attorneys work diligently to obtain compensation from all available sources for people hurt in drunk driving accidents. When a case requires us to name third parties as defendants, we pursue claims against them aggressively.
Understanding Texas dram shop law
Under the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, establishments licensed to sell alcohol may not serve a visibly intoxicated patron. If a liquor store, bar or restaurant violates that provision, the dram shop can be held liable for damages the intoxicated patron causes. Service to a patron triggers the law if both of these elements are present:
- The patron was "obviously intoxicated to the extent that he presented a clear danger to himself and others."
- The intoxication of the patron was a proximate cause of the damages suffered.
In other words, when a liquor seller provides alcohol to someone the seller knows is intoxicated, the seller can be liable for damages in a subsequent drunk-driving accident.
Social host liability for adults who serve alcohol to minors
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code also allows social hosts to be held liable for accidents resulting from their having served alcohol to underage drinkers. The law comes into play when:
- A host is 21 years or older
- A guest is younger than 18 years old
- The host knowingly supplies alcohol to the guest
- The consumption of alcohol is a factor a subsequent auto accident
A victim of the accident can bring a personal injury lawsuit seeking damages from the minor and from the adult who provided the alcohol.
The importance of dram shop laws to your recovery in a drunk driving accident
Drunk driving accidents can inflict severe, even catastrophic, injuries on innocent people. In such cases, the damages can easily exceed the defendant driver’s insurance and worldly assets. In fact, many drunk drivers are repeat offenders who have lost their insurance and are driving without any coverage. In such cases, the victim might win a substantial judgment but would have no hope of ever collecting.
The dram shop law gives the victim another source of recovery. Restaurants, bars and liquor stores carry liability insurance. The victim can make a claim against that coverage.
Our auto accident attorneys do everything possible to ensure that all defendants share in fault for the accident contribute to paying the compensation due our client.
Contact an accomplished Conroe lawyer to discuss dram shop liability for DUI accidents
The personal injury attorneys at Hope & Causey, P.C. in Conroe, Texas represent victims of drunk driving accidents in actions against suppliers of alcohol in Montgomery County, San Antonio, Houston and the surrounding areas. For a free case consultation, call 936-441-4673 or contact us online today.